VI. Demonstration/Celebration


The final goal of the Oral History Project was for students to write two pieces for a book to be published by Premier Graphics, a local publishing company. Each group narrative in the book is to be followed by the individual reflections written be all students.

The Group Narrative – The first piece was a group narrative, based on the information recorded by the note-taker and the stories recorded on the digital recorder. There was no length requirement, but every narrative was between two and three pages. The students were to attempt to make the narrative as accurate as possible. It was written in third person. This assignment was completed in their English class and took no more than three class periods. See Artifact 8 for an example of the final group narrative for Mary Helen Cagey, a Lummi Elder; or Artifact 9 for an example of the final student narrative for Dick Stone, a descendent of Whatcom County settlers.

Individual Reflection – Secondly, students were to write a personal reflection of their experiences (for reflection prompts, see Reflection section below). Most reflections were approximately three-quarters of a page and answered specific questions regarding their own experiences of the interview and reactions to the stories they recorded. This assignment was completed in two days in their history class. See Artifact 10 and Artifact 11 for two different examples of the final student reflections for Lummi Elder, Mary Helen Cagey.


Oral History Project Celebration – May 30th, 2007

The final component to our Oral History Project was the formal celebration of our success and service in an evening event for the community and our school. To prepare for this evening we created a slideshow documenting not only the interviews but also the historical pictures that were shared by our community members during the interviews. We also set up a schedule of events that included the following: an introduction/overview of the project; three student presentations of learning (POL’s); “Open Mic” for students and interviewees; Giving of Books by interview groups to interviewees; and final “Thank You”.

POL1The evening was a success. The most moving moments were our student POL’s, in which we student volunteers shared their experiences and the impact of the project on their lives and learning. Another moment of great celebration was a poem written for our students by a native woman, Jennifer “Jen Ten Bears” Wallen, entitled “Past, Present, and the Future” that was read to the audience. We also had a WHS Lummi student begin the “Open Mic” with powerful message about making this history of his people real and appreciated in our community. POL2We celebrated our success and service in a way that included and recognized all involved in the planning, developing and completing the Oral History Project. The book was distributed and well-received by all.

student-celebratingFinally, we ended the evening with a table of food: cake, veggie and fruit platter, and coffee. Our students, parents, teachers and community members mingled and shared their thoughts of the project for the remainder of the evening. Overall, this celebration allowed us to reflect and recognize the greatness of our students’ service to the community, and the service that was provided by our community members to our students’ learning.

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